name =Andriyan Grigoryevich Nikolayev
September 5, 1929
July 3, 2004
Major General, Soviet Air Force
selection =Air Force Group 1
time =21d 15h 20m
Vostok 3, Soyuz 9
Nikolayev flew on two space flights:
Vostok 3(effectively becoming the third Soviet cosmonaut) and Soyuz 9. His call sign in these flights was Falcon( _ru. Со́кол). On both, he set new endurance records for the longest time a human being had remained in orbit. He also served as backup for the Vostok 2and Soyuz 8missions. On January 22, 1969, Nikolayev survived an assassinationattempt on Leonid Brezhnev, undertaken by Soviet Army officer Viktor Ilyin. He left the cosmonaut corps on January 26, 1982.
Nikolayev was also the first person to make a television broadcast from space, in August 1962. Vostok 3 was part the first dual space flight, with
Pavel Popovichon Vostok 4.
In the early days of space travel, it was usual to place trainee astronauts into isolation chambers to see how long they could last alone. They sat in silence unable to gauge time. Many men cracked. One cosmonaut, Andriyan Nikolayev lasted the longest - four days - and became known as the Iron Man.
November 3, 1963, he married Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space "(see Vostok 6)". They had one daughter, Elena Andriyanovna (now a Doctor of Medicine), before their marriage collapsed. However, it was not until 1982 that they divorced.
Andriyan Nikolayev was awarded the title of
Hero of the Soviet Union(twice), Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Star, numerous medals, and foreign orders. He was also bestowed a title of the Hero of Socialist Labor of Bulgaria, Hero of Labor of Vietnam, and Hero of Mongolia. A lunar crater was given his name, Nikolayev.
In 2004, Nikolayev died of a heart attack in
Cheboksary, the capital of Chuvashiain Russia. A scandal ensued. His daughter, who lives in Moscow, desired that he be interred in the cemetery at Star City. The president of Chuvashia had other ideas. After a farewell ceremony in Cheboksary, Nikolayev was buried in his native village of Shorshely. He has no family living in the republic. Plans are in the works to move the body to Star City.
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